Your Rights

Voter Requirements in Illinois

What does the law require in terms of voting in national and local elections?

To vote you must be:

  • Eighteen or older (If you will turn 18 fewer than 30 days prior to the election, you can vote but must register at least 30 days before election)
  • A U.S. citizen and a resident of Illinois for 30 days before the election

If you have moved from one part of the state to another, you can vote at the polling place in your new precinct by presenting an affidavit obtained through the State Board of Elections. If you are in jail or on parole for a felony conviction, or claim the right to vote elsewhere, you are not allowed to vote.

When you register to vote, you will be asked to complete a form which lists your full legal name, home address, date of birth, telephone number, I.D. number (the last four or six digits of your Social Security number are requested), your choice of party (you may leave this blank or write "no party"), race or ethnic group (optional) and your signature. Students can register at school, as Illinois law allows a school principal or a person designated by the principal to register students from that school. Local governments also establish places to register, and you can register at a local Secretary of State driver facility.

Local governments establish voting places, called polling places, usually at a school, city hall or other public building. Contact your county clerk to obtain the information or if you need to obtain an absentee ballot.

College students may register to vote in either the city where they go to school or in the locale of their permanent address.

A person convicted of a felony, or otherwise under sentence in a correctional institution, loses the right to vote. The right to vote is restored upon completion of the sentence.

Note: This information was prepared as a public service by the Illinois State Bar Association. Every effort has been made to provide accurate information at the time of publication. For the most current information, please consult your lawyer. If you need a lawyer and do not have one, visit our lawyer referral page

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